Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo again showed devastating MotoGP pace but was hampered by a poor start which saw him drop to outside the points in the opening laps.
The French rookie had qualfied in tenth and had to claw his his way back into the top eight with laptimes that were occasionally half a second faster than runaway race leafer and reigning champion Marc Marquez.
“It’s a shame about the beginning of the race. My start was bad and it was difficult to overtake because there were six riders within a second of each other,” said Quartararo.
It was very tough, but in the end we had very good pace. It’s good for our confidence that we had top five pace and a top five finish could have been possible.”
It was only Quartararo’s fifth race in the premier class and he is showing serious championship potential in the future but says he still has a lot to learn about racing with the best in the world.
“Today’s goal was the same as always, finishing in the top eight, and we achieved that. I’ve learned a lot about tyre management today and I can’t wait to get to Mugello and put into practice what I have learnt as it’s one of the most difficult circuits to master.
“We will do the best we can and we will continue working like we have in the opening races. I’m happy with the work we have done here and I hope to continue in the same way at Mugello.”
Quartararo also revealed he switched on an engine ‘time attack’ map during the race for a power boost. It happened after he passed Alex Rins on lap 15 as Quartararo effectively said ‘Hell with the tyres’ and romped away.